Incredibles 2 (AUS/UK/US - PG)

In a word: Finally

Incredibles 2

Super-Family. © 2017 Disney•Pixar.

 

"There are strong messages about the importance of family and valuing each members' contribution as well as the need for teamwork and cooperation to get things done. The feel-good sense of the film is pervasive and there's enough twists and turns to keep your attention. A gratifying return."

The long-waited sequel to the first Incredibles film - coming 14 years after the first - is a thrilling ride which brings a touch of nostalgia for those who loved the original. While it ticks all the boxes for kids, older viewers will also enjoy the action, music and jokes in what is a fun romp. 

Resuming right where the first film left off, Mr Incredible (aka Bob Parr - voiced by Craig T Nelson) and his ‘super’ family - his wife Helen, aka Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell), son Dash (Hunk Milner, who replaces Spencer Fox) and toddler Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) - are facing down a mole-like bad guy known as ‘The Underminer’ (John Ratzenburg).

With the help of old friend Frozone (Samuel L Jackson), the family manage to achieve a victory of sorts, but the battle leaves a trail of destruction through the city which only exacerbates the government's anger at the "supers", who technically are still illegal.

Just as it looks like the the family will be forced into hiding their powers once again, a mysterious tech tycoon Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) offers Elastigirl the chance to work with him and his mechanically-minded sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) to make superheroes legal once more. She agrees and that sees Mr Incredible very reluctantly cast in the role of stay-at-home parent, left to handle Violet and her teenage boy troubles, Dash’s math homework and, Jack-Jack's emerging array of superhero powers. Hilarious results ensue.

Working with the Deavors, Elastigirl, meanwhile, is fitted with a body cam to capture favourable footage of her exploits as she sets about rescuing people and doing good in a bid to repair the reputation of superheroes. She soon finds herself facing a new enemy, Screenslaver, who uses the power and pervasiveness of technology to hypnotise people. As in the first film, it eventually requires all of the family to ensure evil is overcome.

Writer and director Brad Bird doesn't really take any great risks here - the film flows seamlessly on from the first - and while that should put fans of the first instalment at ease, it also means if the first didn't grab you, the second isn't likely to. 

Edna Mode (voiced by Bird himself) returns as the sharp-tongued superhero costume designer - this time it's Jack-Jack's uniform she has to work on - as do others like Honey (Kimberly Adair Clark), Frozone’s never seen wife - but there are also a host of new - and rather bizarre - superheroes to meet including Voyd (Sophia Bush), Helectrix (Phil LaMarr) and the rather off-putting Reflux (Paul Eiding). Stylistically, the look of film is a mirror of the first but that after all, that was a big part of what made the first Incredibles so, well, incredible. 

There are strong messages about the importance of family and valuing each members' contribution as well as the need for teamwork and cooperation to get things done. The feel-good sense of the film is all powerful and there's enough twists and turns to keep your attention. All in all, a gratifying return.